Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signaled on Wednesday that he intended to call the next general election for May 14, perhaps a few weeks after the elections in Greece, widely expected in late April.
Turkey’s next general election is officially due to be held on June 18. But officials have been hinting for weeks that they may bring the polls forward because of religious holidays and school exams.
Erdoğan delivered a speech to his ruling party in which he recalled the day contemporary Turkey held its first free election in 1950. That May 14 vote was won by Adnan Menderes – a prime minister who was toppled by a military junta in 1960 and executed a year later.
Erdoğan has often compared himself to Menderes during his two-decade rule as prime minister and president. “The late Menderes said on May 14, 1950 ‘enough, the people will have their say’, and emerged victorious at the ballot box,” Erdoğan said in televised remarks.
“Our people will give their answer to the (opposition) on the same day 73 years later.”
Greece to hold elections “from April onwards”
Greece will hold parliamentary elections in the spring, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Sunday, specifying “from April onwards” ahead of the conservative government’s term ending in July.
The next Greek elections will be held under a proportional representation system, which makes it difficult for any candidate to win outright; and a second round of voting is likely — indicating an extended period of political uncertainty.
Mitsotakis said that he hasn’t made up his mind whether the elections would take place in April or May. “From April and onwards, the elections can be held at any time,” he told local newspaper Proto Thema in an interview published on Sunday.
Greek government spokesperson Yiannis Economou pointed out in a radio interview on Tuesday that 2023 is an “unusual year” as elections are being held virtually simultaneously in Cyprus, Greece and Turkey.
“It would be good to avoid any ‘dramatization’ that something bad will happen in that time or that we are on the verge of a ‘hot’ incident,” he added, noting that Greece was ready to respond effectively to all challenges at any time, and in any situation.
Cyprus elections in February
A record number of candidates will compete in the 2023 presidential elections in Cyprus to be held on February 5th. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, a runoff will be held on February 12th.
Incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades of the Democratic Rally, who won the presidential elections in 2013 and 2018, is ineligible to run due to the two-term limit.